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A moment in the sun

This is the story of the oddest thing, a spiritual experience (or hallucination, depending on your point of view) that happened to me almost a year ago. It’s taken me this long to even consider writing about it.

I used to sing at a church every Sunday. It was a great way to get used to performing in front of people again after a long time of not doing it.

I think it might have been Easter of last year, or around there. I got out of the car on a sunny morning. It was just like every other Sunday morning as I walked across the parking lot with my music folder in my hands.

I had been applying myself to studying “the texture of reality” – mindfulness, really. As I got out of the car that morning, I was simply being in the moment and taking in the feel of the breeze and the sunshine on my face.

Church is really the last place I expected to have a spiritual awakening (thank you, Anne LaMott). And that’s when it began. Within the space of a few steps, my perception was somehow bigger than my body. I was still in my body, still walking, but I was also outside it. I was in the air, the sunlight, up in the trees. I could see myself from probably about thirty feet in the air, behind me and slightly to my right. From my vantage point in the air I could see everything around me.

But more importantly, from there I could somehow see all of the situations that I was in. My history, my struggles, pain I’ve endured, and pain I’ve caused. The relationships that are important to me.

And as I looked over all of it, I was overtaken by a deep sense of abiding peace. I knew – KNEW – that everything was going to be OK. This wasn’t simply a thought that occurred to me. This was a complete knowing to the source of my being. I could see for a moment the purpose behind every difficult thing I had ever faced, and knew that it was OK. I had this immense feeling of the deepest relief.

It felt as if I had spent my whole life walking under thick cloud cover, and then for a moment, the clouds parted and the sun shone through directly on me, for the first time in my life. I lost track of time. It seemed to slow down, but with the peaceful knowledge that everything was ticking along as it should. This was Perspective and it was unlike anything I had experienced before.

The feeling had faded by the time I reached the church door. I was firmly back in my body, but I was left with the deep abiding peace that gradually receded over the next few days.

Over the past year I have thought back to this experience hundreds of times, particularly when I’ve been stressed or disturbed about one thing or another. The memory of this Perspective, the memory of having that knowledge I possessed for only a moment, has reassured me more times than I can count.

I don’t know what it means. I don’t know what caused it. I don’t know how to experience it again. But I am so fortunate to have had this one moment in the sun.

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